*Soon to reopen
If you fancy quirky places with a real atmosphere (and no heating), Britannia Panopticon, also known as the Glasgow Britannia Music Hall, is worth a visit. *
Down a small lane along the right side of a Sweetie shop, the entrance is difficult to spot, it looks like a stage door. And the stairs are steep. Even better. This makes it a real hidden gem, and an unconventional step back in time.
Built in 1857, it is the oldest remaining Victorian music hall in the world. The venue was a freak show, even an indoor zoo, and in 1896, one of the first moving pictures in Scotland. Comic actor Stan Laurel even made his debut stage appearance there in 1906. The place was closed by 1938 and forgotten for 60 years until a group of volunteers reopened the music hall. Now protected as a category A listed building, it is open to the public for viewing.
The interior of the building is a bit of a shock, to be honest. It is in very poor condition. But it becomes quickly part of its charm and is quite fascinating. It’s intimate and atmospheric. Supported only by volunteers and donations, the Music Hall still needs enormous work, but the staff is so passionate about telling you the tales and histories about the place!
They have a regular program with traditional music-hall shows, silent movies nights, comedy clubs & drag scene showcases.
You’ve been warned about the lack of heating, so dress warmly.
Admission is free.